H&M and Uniqlo have been making news with their "guest designer collections" for a while now, both to great acclaim and success, but it's interesting that Comme des Garçons jazzed up H&M while Jil Sander's recently announced moonlighting with Uniqlo. (and The Gap has stayed pretty much in the U.S.).
I'm sure this is all just going to make Mr. Hiroshi "I hate 'collaborations'" Fujiwara roll his eyes for the nth time, but it's dawned on me that the very first collaborations that made my head turn were at K-Mart. Jaclyn Smith and Kathy Ireland for K-Mart. I wasn't buying their lines (I'll never admit I shopped at K-Mart. Ever.), but you know, it was just interesting. I really did think better of K-Mart. Of course, they weren't calling this stuff 'collaboration,' but even my own unfashionable self feels oversaturated with fashion euphemisms for discounters name-dropping.
So who was the first big box retailer to "marry up"?